Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken his trademark energetic style to the PMO, arriving at his office early and clocking 12-hour work days since the day of his swearing-in.
On Thursday, he arrived at his South Block office at 8.45 am and took two rounds of the office — once in the morning and one after his telephonic chat with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.
He made it a point to visit each and every staff room where he interacted with senior PMO officers and other personnel. He encouraged them to come up with new ideas to push the government forward, telling them that he would like to keep a very informal PMO and was open to ideas at any time of the day. He also questioned them about how the existing channels of communication with him could be improved.
“He is an entrepreneurial PM who is interested in putting in systems to monitor productivity as well as accountability. He told us that before entertaining letters from any MPs, we should make sure the work is for his constituency and not is personal,” said a senior official.
On Wednesday, the PM had met the three services chiefs and two intelligence chiefs.
He also met separately for 30 minutes each the chairmen of the departments of Space and Atomic Energy.
While his predecessors — Manmohan Singh and Atal Behari Vajpayee — largely functioned from the residential-cum-office complex designated for the PM at Race Course Road, Modi is yet to move into his official residence.
His office staff is yet to be finalised too. While Om Prakash Singh and Dinesh Thakur, his aides from his days as Gujarat chief minister, have taken over as his personal secretaries, Bharat Lal, an Indian Forest Services officer who was resident commissioner of Gujarat Bhawan, is functioning as his private secretary.
As is convention, Modi will have a joint secretary officer from the Indian Foreign Service as his second private secretary for diplomatic work. It is understood that foreign secretary Sujatha Singh has forwarded a panel of three names for this post: deputy high commissioner in Islamabad Gopal Bagley, joint secretary (administration) Santosh Jha and Pradeep Rawat, a China expert who is functioning as chief of protocol at present.
The final decision is yet to be taken though Rawat appears to be the frontrunner.